Posts Tagged With: photographs

A GLASS MUSEUM AND TO MASSAPOISETT

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A glass couple relaxing in glass chairs in front of a bookcase of glass books is an unusual piece for any museum, but a perfect fit for the new glass museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts Located at 61 Wamsutta St. A bit hard to find,  it shares an entrance with a wonderful antique store and is well worth the time to find it.

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I will parade for you some pieces I found particularly beautiful, and/or unusual like this golden fruit bowl.

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A blue plate.

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A hand-painted pitcher with gold accents.

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A painted vase.

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Clear and colored glass mixed in the same piece.

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A goblet you wouldn’t drink from. So why make it so?  There is something so appealing about seeing light through prisms of cut glass whether colored or clear. All glass lovers will know what I’m talking about.

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I haven’t room nor money to assemble a collection of pieces like these, so I collect pictures of beautiful items.

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And, again, the unusual, a crystal chair with red cushions and arm rests. The makers did it just to prove you could, but it caught the eye of an Eastern buyer and they became popular sellers to wealthy estate owners from India and Asia.

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When this piece was donated to the museum, the owners said it was a fountain but they could never get it to work. The curator here figured it out and you can go to the New Bedford Glass Museum website and see it work.

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Some glass ware was made in the 1800’s with bits of uranium when no one knew of its danger. Here it is contained in a case with black lights showing how it glows. One glass expert explained to us that people in those days when they discovered this glowing property made it into  paint for clock hands. The women who painted the hands would lick the brush because saliva added a sticky quality to the paint, not knowing they got sick and died from the practice as did the glass workers making the glass.

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They own a huge collection of uranium ware, this case plus another.

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They have unusual art pieces like this iridescent glass painting that changes color and hue with the light.

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The same painting now half in shadow by holding a magazine above it.

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Isn’t this glass spider perfect?

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It looks like this glass has been welded together.

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The museum has many glass maker’s tools and shows the process of glass making. The lid above is shown with it’s wooden mold.

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From the wooden mold, a plaster of paris mold is made. A metal mold is made from the plaster before the molten glass can be poured into it.

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This gun is blown glass where it is blown into the mold. These were cheap pieces filled with candy and sealed with paper. I remember miniatures like these filled with candy when I was a kid.

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Of course, most glass made was utilitarian like this light globe.

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And before the light bulb was invented, whale oil lamps lit up the dark.

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Kids played with glass marbles.

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Glass perfume bottles came in many shapes. Donna, Jim and I enjoyed the museum while Bob taught a morning class. If you want to see a slideshow of many more pictures, click the link below:

https://picasaweb.google.com/106530979158681190260/201381GlassMuseumNewBdfrd

After lunch, Bob returned and we all headed out to Massapoisett where Bob’s sons both live and were raised. His oldest son, Danny has a beautiful daughter just graduated from High School and headed off to college.IMG_2447 (Copy)

Marissa was the only one home when we arrived for our visit. She got us each a bottle of water and asked about our travels.

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For an 18 year old, she has done a good bit of traveling herself. She has hiked in the Grand Canyon, she went to France and climbed the Eifel Tower. She has met some famous people and appeared on television. She recently went camping for the first time where it was necessary to sleep on the ground on a tarp with a mattress pad and a sleeping bag. This is her wall of accomplishments. IMG_2451 (Copy)
Her grandparents, Bob and Donna Parker, are very proud of her.

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She excells at competitions that involve the blind. Here she is pictured after winning the Braille contest. She and Helen Keller have a lot of personality in common.

After or visit, Bob gave us a tour of the community of Massapoisett where he lived for many years.IMG_2457 (Copy)

This is his son’s boat. He loves the water, the area, the boats, clamming, fishing. In fact, when he lived and taught school here, he volunteered as a shellfish warden. He loved the job because he was often rewarded with a bucket of quahogs. IMG_2458 (Copy)

Like Murphys, it has a major hotel.

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Years ago, people built their summer cabins here.

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Now those cabins are being replaced by million-dollar mansions.

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Bob took us to see all of his old haunts and then we had dinner at the Chowder House.

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A perfect day with lovely weather much appreciated as I type and look at pouring rain through my window this morning.

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The Great Adventure Dinette Window Photos…Update #2…

Back on November 29, 2011, I began what is my 6th circumnavigation of the United States. It will be Mary’s 2nd.

I’m calling it The Great Adventure, because it’s different from my other five circumnavigations…in which the routes were kinda-sorta preplanned. This time…with the exceptions of attending my oldest grand-daughter’s high school graduation in June 2013 in southeastern Connecticut…I don’t know where were will be going or when we will be there! Hence…The Great Adventure.

The only plan is to live a day-to-day lifestyle and let the wind blow us where it may!

Another thing different about this circumnavigation…in addition to our daily Blog entries documenting our experiences…is in every overnight parking spot I’ve decided to take a photo out of our dinette window.

For instance here’s the view out of our dinette window at our parking location at the Dancing Eagle Casino RV Park, Casa Blanca, New Mexico…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

During the course of this two-year circumnavigation I’m expecting that we will park overnight in about 150 locations. In addition you need to know that when I park the motorhome…I do not say to myself…where’s the best view? It is strictly by chance what view ends up outside of our window.

You need also to remember that we overnight a lot at free locations such as Eagles and Moose Clubs, American Legion, VFW and Elks Clubs where the views are not always spectacular…but usually somewhat interesting.

Finally I started taking these photos once we departed Yuma, Arizona. Prior to that time all the previous overnight parking locations are repeats from previous times since I travel those routes somewhat regularly.

Unfortunately this Picasa Web Album has decided to partially malfunction. It has “lost” a few and has them somewhat out of the chronological order in which they were taken. That being said, they still can be enjoyed.

I’ve got 92 out-of-the-dinette-window photos collected so far. You can see them all by clicking the below link. Once there, click the slide show button…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/GreatAdventureDinetteWindowPhotos#

After viewing the 92 photos I think you’ll agree that the full-time RVing lifestyle exemplifies the saying of “Variety Is The Spice Of Life”! The constant changing of scenery, people, local foods and music is most stimulating. I never tire of it!

I intend to post this Blog entry periodically as The Great Adventure rolls along..

It will be fun to look at the about 150 photos that will finally end up in this collection when the circumnavigation has been completed!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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PEACE, CULTURE AND HIP HOP

It is our last morning in China. We are up early. Business people all over town line up in their suits and ties at street steamers to buy buns and dumplings for breakfast.  (Picture by Nicolas Delerue) China is vast but it’s cities are huge and crowded. The Chinese seek peace in their gardens.

In the center of this snarling city is the UR Garden. The designers took great pains and cost to turn this former government employees home into a centerpiece of Chinese garden architecture. A walled garden shuts out the troubles of life and brings peace and quiet to the soul. It allows you to contemplate a higher plane and renew the spirit.

The Chinese people strive for perfection in everything they do. A perfect garden must have a hill, water, rock, plants, bamboo, a building and trees. The plants placement and position in the garden, and shapes of everything  have special meanings. A rock must not overshadow water. All gates, walkways, windows and doors must suggest nurture, peace and serenity to soothe the soul. A tea house provides refreshment and joy.

A cut out in the wall has pleasing lines and picturesquely  frames and enhances a particular view of the garden.

A beautifully designed window does the same.

Each rock, each plant is chosen for its sense of balance and rest. Lotus for purity. Bamboo for strength and resilience.  Flowering plum represents rebirth. If you plant a pine tree, you must have both a male and female tree. If one dies, the partner tree is removed.

Proper dragons guard the roof and walls.

The roof is enhanced with bamboo at the top to make music as the wind passes over the hollow tubes.  The poetic aspects of a garden are taken very seriously.

When a contingent of Chinese Garden Architects from Vancouver came to see the garden, they politely said it was beautiful. Not perfect?  They judged it imperfect because modern condominium visible in a little corner of the garden.  Tsk, tsk!

We leave the garden to visit Shanghai Cultural Museum.  On the freeway we see a huge cement column  about 12 feet in diameter  supporting an over crossing. It was beautifully decorated with writhing dragons. I asked why the need for such a heavy support column? Our city guide explained that it allows the dragons to get out. When they were building, the workmen had trouble in that spot. They insisted there was a dragon there and it would be bad luck to cover it up. The government architects came up with a solution. It is partially hollow and has an exit window.  Now knowing what we do of Chinese culture and centuries of superstition embedded in their character, we understand.

The museum too, is a quiet place that gives a sense of peace…

and beauty.

Late in the afternoon we have free time and several of us take tea at a lovely tea house and then off to the Hip Hop Market to pick up any last minute souvenirs. This is not a souvenir market.  We gawk at ultra modern merchandise. Shoes like I’ve never seen in my life with price tags to match.  Baby items and clothing  for the children or grandchildren of the very wealthy. Teens swarm the place with their phones and wrist band radios. They buy see-through blouses, painted skirts and bathing suits that would fit in a cigarette box. We are running from store to store like unruly kids were we see every kind of goods,  rich leathers, golden threaded bags and scarves; canes, sunglasses, jewelry to dazzle an empress, plastic neon bracelets, fancy suits and ballgowns, jeans and top branded merchandise from all over the world.  A city of such contrasts is Shanghai.

We enjoy a fabulous farewell dinner with a flaming dish of some sort. We  fondly embrace our new friends and  trade addresses and know we’ll probably never see them again. Unforgettable China.

 

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ARRIVING IN JILIANG, A UNESCO CITY

There is more to see in Wuhan City, but we leave late in the day for the airport. Our luggage is already overweight. Vicki bribes the officials but warns us that on one of the seven flights we take, she will not be able to bribe the officials. It is only a short flight to Jiliang, pronounced lee-John. My suit case arrived crushed. They didn’t want to fill out the papers for insurance because it was already packed deep in the bus and they couldn’t see it. She bullied them a bit. Then they had no blank on their form  for the color beige or plaid. It was taking forever and the whole group was waiting. Finally, I told her it was too much  hassle,  forget it. She told me the two clerks are afraid they will lose their jobs if they make a mistake. Our plane was late and Vicki called ahead to the hotel and asked that they  hold the buffet open so we could have dinner.  At ten p.m. we are eating roast pork and black sweet rice at the Grand Hotel.

It was all so delicious but the hotel sits  next to a moat,  and from across the moat come sounds of revelry, singing, talking and laughter. Lights reflect in the water, from torches and candles on the tables. People are having such a good time we want to be there. (The picture above, across from our hotel,  was taken in the morning when all the revelers are gone.)  The windows in our hotel have no glass in them. The room walls are so thin you can hear people talking in a normal tone of voice. The beds are thinly padded and quite hard with fluffy woolen blankets. The stars are out, the fresh mountain air wafts through the room and we quickly give over to sleep.

In the morning, Michal and I (and everybody else on the tour) want to explore this unique city, but we are hustled off to the Naxi (nah-shee) Dongba Tribe Museum. Our expert in this area is Wu. He has funny American expressions, like  “shake the leg”,  “let’s get rollin”). It sounds so out of place and we laugh when he says stuff. Jiliang, we learn is 250 miles from the Tibetan border, where we can see the beautiful Eastern side of the Himalayan Mountains.

The museum is particularly interesting because the Naxi people only had a pictographic language. Their tribe in two areas only numbers about 60,000 people. As young people grew up and learned the official dialect, their language was dying out.

The museum had much of their colorful textiles and calligraphy which they are noted for.

In the Museum store, this Naxi Calligrapher draws an expression for Michal which she had framed and it now hangs on her wall.  The Naxi people are said to be able to place their hands into fire and boiling oil without injury. We did not see a demonstration of this but expect it is similar to the fire walkers we all know about. The Naxi raise goats and llamas and their beautiful weavings are unique.

Wu takes us to the Naxi village of Yunshangping, where  the Himalayas hang over this magical little  town. People here cook on grills outside. We are here  to see the museum of a colorful anthropologist/botanist by the name of Joe Rock, but Wu says we will see it after we explore the town.

Just about every woman wears the same blue garb, which is traditional to their society. Vicki tells us they have become used to getting their picture taken-for money. So we should attempt to take our pictures indirectly.

A fresh mountain stream flows through the town. The water in our hotel was delicious and comes from the same stream. We were warned early in the trip to never drink the water, always use bottled water. But, I forgot the very first day in China and so I just continued to drink the water and never had a problem. I also ate the lettuce and vegetables they tell you to avoid that are rinsed in the water. If we didn’t have first class hotels, I might  not have taken the chance.

Naxi villagers are great horsemen.

This gent is leading a bunch of tourists through town to head up the mountain for a trail ride.

Cute kids everywhere.

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This older woman stuck her hand out for money when I took her picture, but I was quite a distance from her.

Then I caught her later in the day taking care of a group of kids, watching the horses go by.

For the most part, they seemed to ignore the invasion of tourists in their town.

Wu tells us the Naxi love their horses and pets.

They are very social with each other and do most of their chores outside, like this woman washing her clothes. But, back to Joe Rock. Wu first takes us to a house that is similar to Joe Rock’s house. It shows the way those with means lived in the town.

The average house here is volcanic rock and wood.

A typical Naxi house looks like this.  It  has three buildings, a living quarters, where people are standing, to the right, a storage building in the center, where corn is hung to dry and food stuff is prepared for keeping.  Food for animals is also kept in the middle building.

And the third building holds the livestock.  Naxi people were not friendly to outsiders before Joe Rock came. He spoke Chinese and gave them medicine,  and over time, gained their trust. He was very fat and hired Chinese men to carry him on a special chair like some royal Egyptian out of a Hollywood Movie. He had a battery operated Victrola so he could listen to opera, and his own canvas bath tub.   Rock came here in the 1920’s and lived here until the Communists took over.

The Naxi have eagles and owls as their  protective roof decorations.

We finally arrive at Joe Rock’s house where the living quarters holds the museum, which contains some pictures of Rock’s work.  Wu tells us, the people here are the museum. Joe Rock’s 400 year old house is owned by a dandy who is so obnoxious he doesn’t like to come.  Just to look into the court yard, we are required to take his picture and pay him before entering this very small exhibit.

He is all dressed up in his leather shoes and white coat. The reason to come at all is because Joe Rock was such an important figure. He wrote several books about the Naxi while he photographed and studied their pictographic language, translated it into a written language and therefore preserved the culture of the old-timers before they died and the language became lost. He photographed their rituals and studied their culture extensively.  Rock supposedly said, after the big depression, “Depressions are for industrialized nations, we don’t have depressions, here.”

http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=172&catud=5&subcatid-87#11

There are some interesting stories about Rock at the above website and many facts in the wikipedia link about him.

We said goodbye to this lovely village, me wishing I could have taken a horse back rid into the mountains.

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WALKING IN BEAUTY

Its been hot in the park.  We are both feeling much better, but not exactly up to par.  We decided to try the South Rim overlooks figuring getting out and about will hasten healing and leave us with the canyons beauty as our last memory.

The White House  of the ancients, sits among sandstone colored buildings. The Anasazi left no clues  why this building should be white. Maybe it is special, like our own White House.  We had planned to take the two-mile hike in to where ever it leads,  but we weren’t up to that, yesterday.

The South Rim Canyons are deep and for those who feel any vertigo, it is probably not the place to visit.

As I looked, I wished I was down on the canyon floor finishing that tour we started in that marvelous truck where you had 360 degree views. It was a wonderful sight-seeing vehicle and I’d do it again if  I could, despite the accident.

I love the monolithic rocks that just seem to rise from the canyon floor like sentinels.

And, these strange purple tufts that sit like caps on pudding.  It is obvious that this rock was at one time liquid some unknown millions of years ago.

The South Rim had rock climbing areas before you get to the edge of the canyon.  Normally I’d be all over them, enjoying views from every point. They are beautiful in their own right.

The trail at one overlook was marked with cairn rocks. I added a couple rocks to increase the height, as others have done.  Not this particular one, though.

This rock was defaced by grafitti, but the colors are breathtaking.

The famous Spider Rock is so named because in Navajo culture, the Spider Woman is the God of weaving.  To them it must have resembled a weaving. It is  a beautiful twin structure in a very busy and colorful valley.

On a closer view it is possible to see the lines resembling  a woven rug, perhaps.

These lichen covered rocks on the edge have an unbelievable number of colors.

We received a note (posted) from Anita, the woman I spoke about who drove the two hundred miles to Flagstaff the day after the accident to be there for her friend Margaret. She is healing as we all are. And, for the sake of accuracy, we reported to the Sheriff’s Department and the Special Investigator that the nut from the tie rod bolt had been turned in to them. Frank Shearer informed us that the women from his party found the nut, but he advised them to leave it where they found it so the Sheriff’s Department could investigate without them having disturbed its location. Again, it is easy to “mis-hear” and spread inaccuracies.  Thank you for that correction, Frank.   None of us will forget this horrible accident, but I hope everyone will also remember the beauty of Canyon de Chelly and walk in beauty.

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LOOKING FORWARD TO MOVING ON

I finally got the ambition to vacuum up all that dust I wrote about yesterday without too much discomfort.  And, yesterday we were visited by a special investigator with the National Parks, sort of the FBI of the national parks.  We gave another taped account of the accident.  It  makes you wish they’d just share information. She said she would ask the Sheriff’s Department for a copy of their tape. I woke up with sand in the corner of my eyes, as I have every morning since the accident. I  thought about what I saw going down that hill and I realized for the first time that I had to have closed my eyes until the tumble and rumble stopped.  Significant of nothing.

I got a message from Vicky and Jeff that Sophie Zagar is in a rehabilitation center in Prescott where she will undergo extensive rehabilitation.  She was obviously in the most pain during those long  hours and it was so hard for everyone, because there was nothing we could do.  Sophie, you have no idea how glad we are to  know that you are  getting the care you need  and have your  loving  family around you.

Despite the heat, we had a nice breeze yesterday, and after dinner, we took a slow stroll around the park. It felt good to get out and walk and feel normal.  We met a full-time RVer named Pauline. She said she was so bereft when her only child moved with her grandchildren to New Zealand, she decided to hit the road. That was five years ago.  She joined the singles group, the LOWs, which stands for Loners On Wheels.  She now knows some of the same characters that Jim does with his nearly 17 years on the road. He belonged to the WINs, Wandering Individuals Network, and the two groups often meet and interact.  I’m admiring of women who have it together enough to be adventurers on their own and tackle life constantly on the move. It is an addicting lifestyle.

Our plan is to leave the park on Tuesday morning. We still have all those mundane chores.  Monday laundromat and shopping. Some mail to get out. And today, I’m going to finish our visit to the South Rim so I  leave this park with a positive and beauty in my  memory.  Jim is also ready to do that, though he declined yesterday.  We still both nap every day.

I keep a picture file of the last two year’s adventures on my computer. That way I can always look back at the fun times we had and feel joy.

Lunch at the Elephant Bar Palm Desert, California.

Netting Salmon on the Swinnomish  Reservation,  La Connor, Washington.

Hiking the Superstition Mountains,  Apache Junction,  Arizona.

Watching the Cabalgata in Columbus,  New Mexico.

The balloon ride with Fergie and company at Red Rock Park,  New Mexico.

Meeting the tattooed artist in Bisbee, Arizona.

Life is good.

 

 

 

 

 

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